Monday, 26 August 2013

Guest Book Review: Melanie Jones - L'Amour Actually

Reviewed by Janine Cobain

“The woman was one of those irritating expat types who felt she owed it to the world to impart on her all her superior knowledge of life in France. I realised that if I didn’t stop her now, she’d be bending my ear all the way to Bergerac.

‘Actually,’ I said, leaning in toward the woman, ‘I’m planning to integrate my way into the boxers of the first good-looking Frenchman I see. Can’t think of any better way to learn the language myself. You wouldn’t happen to know the French for “fancy a shag?” would you? Voulez-vous coucher avec moi just seems a bit nineteen-seventies these days.’ 

After one particularly bad day at work, advertising executive and confirmed city girl Melanie Jones decides to give up her old life in search of something new and simpler in South West France. With little knowledge of the country, even less of the language and just the memory of a disastrous school French exchange and a few day trips to Calais, she embarks on her adventure with a suitcase full of optimism and not a little bit of naivety. After all, how different can life in France be? 

After a series of adventures with skirt-ripping tractors, handsome twin farmers, celebrity not-quite-beens, unusual toilets and a bonkers ex-pat community, all topped up, of course, with lashings of rosé, Melanie begins to discover that her new life in France isn’t quite what she’d thought it would be.”

L’Amour Actually; think Bridget Jones meets The Good life – twenty something Mel throws off the demands of a high pressured life in London for the idyllic dream of rural France highlighting her city ignorance by beginning her new adventure in Louboutin heels.  Her journey courses from ditch diving to line dancing and everything in between, her escapades bring new depths to the term ‘cringe worthy’ and provide many giggles along the way. 

Mel’s naivety and personality traits are endearing as are the characters we meet along the way from the Burlesque laden past of Martine, to the chav-tastic Tracey and the rambunctious Chummy.  

Melanie Jones has a deliciously descriptive style which had me re-reading some lines just to revel in their delightfulness.  She engages the reader so that I walked around the cottage with Mel, surveyed the village by her side and picked up the pieces of her shattered heart.  This story is a wake up shake for anyone who is caught up in the corporate march of day to day monotony and a reminder that life is for living! 

A thoroughly charming read, one of those stories that has you thinking about the characters even when you're away from the book; read it - you will not be disappointed!

I'd like to thank Melanie for sending us a copy of this eBook to review and Janine for reviewing this for me.

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